Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Last Friday morning

Last Friday I attended a hearing, in Manhattan, and listened to witnesses testify before the Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure of the Judicial Conference of the United States, on a proposed re-write of Rule 2019.

As is my usual practice in these matters, I drove down to Stamford the previous evening, stayed at a hotel (by preference La Quinta, which is convenient to both the highway and the train station), then took MetroNorth into Grand Central early Friday morning. When I arrived at the hotel, around 9 PM Thursday, there were three police cars in front of the main entrance. Two more were to come by a couple of minutes later. Bravely pushing on despite my own desperado past, I went to the front desk to check in anyway.

Curiousity in its cat-killing way got the better of me, and I made discrete inquiries. It appears that a homeless man had been camping out in of the the supposedly unocuupied rooms of the hotel. I'm unsure how he had originally gotten there, but apparently housekeepiung discovered him. All the police were doing was trying to find out who he was -- deliver him to some relation if they could find one -- deliver him to one of the city's shelters otherwise. For this they needed five squad cars? I'm guessing conversational lulls were ruling the day at the coffee shops on Stamford where that city's Finest hang out, and they relished the diversion.

Anyway, my train ride went smoothly the next morning and I was soon in Grand Central. I elected to take a cab from there to the federal courthouse near Foley Square where the hearing was to be, and the cabbie elected the FDR.

There are no trash bins within about two blocks of that courthouse. I know this because a woman in line with me at the security checkpoint was complaining about this as she held an empty styrofoam cofee cup in her hand. She had purchased the coffee who-knows-where and had found no place wherein the discard the cup.

My hearing took place on the 23d floor. The room's window faced north, and there was an impressive view of the towers of midtown.

The hearing was actually of interest as these things go, though its unlikely any of the fifty or so non-testifying observers was there for fun. I suppose you know a good deal more about that evening and morning in my life now than you ever thought you would. The point? -- well, how about this: this is my blog, and I can be self-indulgent if I want to.

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